Warning: soppy post ahead!
When the end of the year comes, regardless of my current feelings, I feel the need to look back and be proud of all I’ve achieved. It puts all the little struggles in perspective and reminds me all I have to be grateful for. I HIGHLY suggest, even if on your commute to work one day, or on a post-it note, that you write 5 things that you achieved this year!
1. Moved to the other side of the world (again)
Moving back to Australia was familiar, but moving to a new city where I had no job, few friends and no real plans was scary. It was a lot harder to set up in Melbourne than London, as I was no longer apart of an expat community that embraces you quickly. I found everything more expensive than when I had left, saw some long distance friendships weaken and some friendships grow stronger, had to learn a whole new curriculum to teach and moved house WAY too often. I’m finally settled, have some really great friends and am happy with my new home.
2. Admitted that I wasn’t okay
Physically and mentally, my health struggled in 2018. I was going too quickly and brushing off things that should have been dealt with. Finally, I admitted that my mental health was struggling worst of all and asked for help. I felt so alone, and occassionally still do, but once I took that leap of faith I found all these services and people that wanted to be there for me.
3. Did what I wanted anyway
“I had planned to this with X…” or “I have noone to go with” are thoughts I regularly had. I was lonely with a passion to explore my new city and around my home country. I decided that I was capable of doing it all by myself and so did just that. I went on a solo road trip, made some beautiful friends while exploring the Great Ocean rd & Phillip Island as well as ticked off many things off my Melbourne bucket list. I said I wanted to explore the Great Barrier Reef & Daintree Rainforest and did just that with one of my best friends. All I needed to do was decide what I wanted and the plans made themselves.
4. Built a tonne of relationships
Professionally, i’m really proud of how well I adapted to a new school environment and how I built so many relationships with some colleagues, but especially students. Unfortunately, like some jobs beforehand, there wasn’t room for me next year but instead I’m taking on another huge professional challenge as I move out of mainstream teaching.
2018 was also where I really focused on my relationships; friendship, family and a little romance. Although I had to focus on my health and wellbeing, I realised that there is room for self care and some selflessness. Whether thoughtful messages or just being there when needed, i’m really happy with the people in my life right now. I also count starting my ‘Creative Collaborations‘ as an extension of this. In my small corner of the internet, i’ve been really fortunate to talk to some pretty inspiration people, particularly kickass women, who are talented and running the world!
5. Identified what was making me unhappy and changed it
Not only mental health wise, I recognised that particular places, people and habits were doing me more harm than good. To say it was a quick fix would be a complete lie, but cutting ties, moving on and focusing on the good is exactly what everyone needs to do every now and again.
What did you achieve in 2018? Let me know!